The silly season always presents challenges to our normal workout and eating routines. It is a fun time of year where we get to catch up with loved ones, but it is also a stressful time, and it can take a little while to recover and get our lives back on track. Time, money and what we eat tend to be the most impacted. Actually, there is a fourth – our sanity, but that is a subject for another day…
Time: Adding extra travel, shopping and seemingly endless work and personal Xmas events – even though it is mostly fun (we hope!) it can be time consuming and a big energy drain. This means that unfortunately, self-care activities we do like working out and cooking meals tend to be sidelined, which often disrupts our daily routines and can lead to us feeling “a bit off” over time.
The best way to deal with this is to both plan as much as possible and make the most of spontaneous opportunities when you can. With regards to working out, this is a good time of year to maintain the results we have worked so hard to achieve. Doing shorter or less frequent workouts at a high intensity with help to do this, as well as save a bit of time for more social events. Also, it’s ok to miss a workout here or there. This is a busy time of year and there are other priorities.
What we eat and saving money: As a nation, we spend billions on Christmas every year, which then has the knock-on effect of us cancelling and trimming away what we consider to be unnecessary expenses. Personal training and gym memberships tend to be some of the first things to go, alongside healthy food options and meal delivery services. Obviously, getting rid of these things makes sense if you are travelling, but if you are still at home, but a bit strapped for cash, there are some substitutions and changes you can make.
First, alongside doing shorter, less frequent workouts, training at home or outside is a good money saving option. There are any number of videos on YouTube and articles on the web that outline programs that make use of whatever equipment, space and time available. It is often a welcome change to do these workouts, as they can get the body moving in ways it normally doesn’t and best of all, they are completely free.
With regards to saving money on food, meal prepping similar meals throughout the week and not buying a lot of take out should lead to more cash in the bank. Constantly buying fast food may be a more convenient option, but it tends to leave a large hole in the back pocket.
As far as Christmas lunch or dinner (that is why they made stretchy pants), if possible, try and reduce how much you are eating in the days leading up to it and take leftover containers with you. Fill them up and eat that good food in the days following. Will it be as healthy as your normal prep food? Probably not. The point here is that you are saving money and making a good food choice by portioning out calorie dense food.
Small changes can help make the silly season a less stressful time of year and this will definitely pay dividends in the long run. Remember that planning ahead is always the best bet, but even the best laid plans can be thrown out the window, especially when there is family, friends and an abundance of food and alcohol involved. Stick to your routines as best you can but be lenient with yourself and have fun.